Imperial Pumpkin Ale | Weyerbacher Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
1,011 Reviews
Imperial Pumpkin AleImperial Pumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
We set out to make a bold monument for The King of the Pumpkins!
This 8.0% ABV pumpkin ale is the mother of all pumpkin ales. It is heartier, spicier and more “caramelly” and “pumpkiny” than its faint brethren! We have added lots of pumpkin along with cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of cardamom and clove, giving this beer a spicy, full-bodied flavor.

This truly is an Imperial Pumpkin Ale. Perfect finisher on a cool autumn night or match it up with a slice of pumpkin pie and fresh whipped cream.

Added by cbl2 on 09-17-2005

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,011 | Ratings: 2,694
Photo of TH28
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. 7/14/16 bottle date. Appearance: Dark brown, hazy, with an off white foam head. Aroma: Smells like Big Red. Strong cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Like pumpkin pie. Cinnamon definitely stronger than most other pumpkin ales. Taste: Moderate malt sweetness, with some toasted and nutty notes, with light pumpkin pie spicing. Cinnamon and nutmeg are noticeable, but restrained. Pretty high bitterness for the style. Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, a little thin for a beer with this ABV. Alcohol warmth is quite strong. Low carbonation. Finish: Pumpkin spicing really lingers here, with a surprising amount of grassy bitterness. Overall: Pretty run of the mill pumpkin ale. Strong cinnamon and bitterness compared to others, with a disappointing under carbonation that leaves the beer flat. Body is thin for the high ABV, making the alcohol feel very warm. Could be better and more balance simply by increasing the body and carbonation.

 946 characters

Photo of Whey2Hoppy
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very murky orange amber color. Almost no head or lacing.

Smell: Smells like a legit pumpkin pie in my glass. They NAILED the smell.

Taste: Holy shit, they nailed it again. It follows the nose in the huge upfront burst of all those pumpkin spices we know and love, with a bit of malts and booze on the back end of the sip. Maybe just a tad too boozy for my tastes, which is the only major negative here. Not cloyingly sweet either.

Feel: Oily, slick body with a fair amount of carbonation.

Overall: One of the most well known pumpkin beers for a reason. It basically tastes like a very boozy version of pumpkin pie that isn't sweet enough to give you diabetes.

 675 characters

Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew has a warm, baked aroma, like pie crust and spices. Caramel malts. Taste is pumpkin pie spices, malt, dark bread and plums. Pours a tawny color with little foam, with no lacing or retention. If you really gotta have a pumpkin ale (not really my thing) this is a good way to go.

 284 characters

Photo of Slack
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber in color with a small amount of head, minimal lacing.

Very spice forward on the nose – nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. Also getting some malt.

Taste follows the nose with strong spices most notably cinnamon and nutmeg. The malt comes through with a bit a bread. Booze on the back end.

Mouthful is medium and less smooth than could be expected. Carbonation is medium to low. Finish is subtly sweet and warming.

Balanced and spice forward with a minor drawback of mouthful which could be attributed to the booziness or lower carbonation. Nonetheless one of the better pumpkin ales that are available.

 618 characters

Photo of zshaft
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours nice with decent head retention. dark almost brown and can't see through it. smell knocks you over with cinnamon and all spice. mild pumpkin. taste is overwhelming cinnamon and nutmeg. I almost taste the spice particles in my mouth. so much spice I feel like any beer or pumpkin is lost in the experience. overall a nice beer but way over done with the spices. would not seek out again.

 403 characters

Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the bottle, it pours a reddish (?) amber with a moderate head. Pumpkin spice in the nose. Enjoyable taste of pumpkin spice when consumed. Enjoyable.

 156 characters

Photo of SawDog505
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass bottled on 8/4/15. Pours a very dark reddish orange with a 1 inch off white head that leaves some nice rings of lace.

Smell is nutmeg, pumpkin, cinnamon, vanilla, and toffee.

Taste follows with pumpkin and nutmeg jumping to the front of the line, with cinnamon, vanilla, and toffee subtly coming in at the end.

Mouthfeel is slightly less than medium, the right amount of life, a little dry in the back end, and easy drinking.

Overall this was a beer I was not really excited for, but it delivered. Thanks jzeilinger for this, one of the better pumpkin beers I have had and I bet it would have been better in the fall.

 655 characters

Photo of jopezu
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a murky mahogany with huge sediment, and almost zero head. nose; cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, & clove. spicy and sweet. taste; very light malt, pumpkin spices, sweet cinnamon, nutmeg, lightly boozy yam, light earthy hops, grape, & raisin bread. medium carbonation & mouthfeel. a touch boozy and VERY vinous. the very low malts leaves the supporting cast of spices & hops to carry the show, which they do well and with nice balance. this is almost a spicy pumpkin wine, and easily bests most of the pumpkin beers out there. probably my favorite pumpkin ale.

 566 characters

Photo of EJTheHero
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled on date: 6/11/15
Best by date:2/11/16

Pours a hazy bronze color. Semi aggressive pour leaves absolutely no head.
Nose of cinnamon. Nutmeg, cloves and some Pumkin.
Taste follows the nose. Pumkin and clove are more prominent. Alcohol is in the taste as well.
Mouthfeel is medium to full body. Prickly carbonation on the finish.
Overall a decen Pumkin ale. Most likely would've been better fresh.

 406 characters

Photo of 11-52_4hops
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Caveat - was given this bottle in late December, so not super fresh and not in the season where I am jones-ing for this type of brew.

Burnt orange color. Strong nose with all of those wonderful smells that make pumpkin ales an annual treat. Flavor more subdued than the smell would lead you to expect-- not necessarily a bad thing. Checks all the blocks: pumpkin, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg without being overwhelmingly sweet. Seems to be an ale first with the pumpkin associated spices providing the back-up. Thumbs up.

 522 characters

Photo of q33jeff
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark Cloudy Orange. Aroma: Strong sweet pumpkin, cloves, apples. Taste is smooth; strong pumpkin flavor. Low to medium carbonation, but par for the style. One of my favorite Pumpkin beers.
#1 of 8 in Pumpkin Beer Evaluation.Double Blind Evaluation of 8 2013 Pumpkin Beers: 1-Weyerbacher Imperial Pumkin Ale; 2-Dogfishead Punkin Ale; 3-Fegleys Devious Imperial Pumpkin; 4-Southern Tier Pumking; 5-Terrapin Pumpkinfest; 6-Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale; 7-Shipyard Pumpkin Ale; 8-Big Muddy Brewing Pumpkin.
** 11/xx/2014 Pumpkin Double Blind Tasting: 1-Sam Adams Fat Jack. 2-Hoppin’ Frog. 3-Fegleys Devious. 4-Weyerbacher. 5-Southern Tier Pumking. 6-Terrapin Pumpkinfest. 7-Long Trail. 8-Riverhorse. 9-Blue Moon. 10-UFO Pumpkin (harpoon). 11-Sam Adams Pumpkin. 12-Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin. 13-Dogfishhead (shocker) 14-Ichabod.
** 11/02/2015
Although Weyerbacher was knocked out in a tough 1st round heat; it impressed in the final (as a random wild card) and took 3rd of 15, bested only by ST Pumking and the 2015 Winner Elysian Great Pumpkin.

 1,058 characters

Photo of ctylinebeer
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

L - Dark, orange color with a black hue. Glass is kind of dirty, so head retention was compromised. It did build to at least 2 fingers during and after the pour. Hardly any bubbles noticeable.

S - Pumpkin spice, cinnamon with fruity midtones from the pumpkin. Not too spicy on the nose.

T - Cinnamon, nut meg, pumpkin spice with a caramel pumpkin pie finish. Pumpkin spice aftertaste as well.

F - Easy drinker for 8.0%. Light carbonation, but not enough to mask the palate. Smooth, silky texture

O - I saw this made Playboy's Top 10 Pumpkin Beers, which they ranked it at No. 4. That's awesome Weyerbacher is getting national recognition! This beer deserves to be on the list as one of the best pumpkin beers out there.

 765 characters

Photo of dank203
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

brew is super malty with loads of pumpkin spice and sweet pumpkin pulp. almost syrupy mouth feel lots of sweet undertones with baked heavy spice on top

 153 characters

Photo of hardysf
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Average pumpkin beer. Good restraint of pumpkin and spice. Maybe a touch thin for me, could use more carbonation and some thicker mouthfeel.

Nothing special and expensive. Would not buy again.

 194 characters

Photo of GRPunk
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Weyerbecher Imperial Pumpkin Ale
12 oz. bottle (dated 07/10/15 and 03/10/16, I assume bottled and consume by dates?), $3.29 from Copper Vine. Poured into Duvel tulip.

A- A normal pour creates 1-finger of khaki head that quickly drops to the lightest lace. Carbonation continues to bubble to the surface. The body is a hazy, orange-brown with some floaties. Very light stick is left on the glass.

S- A mix of sweet and pumpkin spice, heavy on the nutmeg. It has a bit of an alcohol kick. Hints of canned and fresh pumpkin pulp. Sweeter than I'd expected, but pleasantly so.

T- Hmm... That's pretty good. Sweet and boozy up front. Spice comes in through the middle and leaves a slight lingering presence. That said, things end up relatively clean.

M- Medium-full body is pretty viscous. Light carbonation can't keep up. Lightly chalky. Dry finish.

O- A very solid pumpkin ale on the higher end of the ABV scale. Better than a lot of traditional versions, but not quite as good as most of the imperial ones. Doesn't necessarily "wow" me for the price.

A- 3.5 S- 4.25 T- 4 M- 3.75 O- 4

 1,103 characters

Photo of uccle81
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Not a lot of pumpkin flavor, but TONS of spices. Full ale body, but remarkably crisp for such a heavy malt load. Also relatively sweet, but not overpowering, for 8%.

 165 characters

Photo of Coach_Nitro
1.86/5  rDev -52.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Came into this with High expectation, but in the end was absolutely disappointed. Me and 2 other people all agreed; there is absolutely no hint of pumpkin taste. Not one bit. It is a good ale if you aren't getting a pumpkin flavor, but 15 dollars for a 22oz. I say pass.

 270 characters

Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a stem glass. Bottled on 7/8/15, best before 3/8/16.

The beer comes in a hazy reddish-brown with a thin finger of beige head. Some streaming bubbles are visible, as is some sediment.
Pumpkin spice galore greets the nostrils initially. Clove and nutmeg are most prominent, followed by cinnamon and allspice. But what makes the aroma different from many other pumpkin ales in this one is the creamy balanced sweetness, which is as equally prominent as the spices to me. It smells like a pumpkin candle. Butterscotch, caramel, vanilla, and raisin.
Again, nice balance of flavors in the taste, the sweet malts leading the way with the spices complimenting instead of vice versa. Butterscotch, toffee, caramel, toasted bread crust, and vanilla slide smoothly over the tongue, while clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg add a little bit of kick near the end. There's no real oomph to any of it, though, but it does drink easily. There's some very faint dark fruit notes near the finish as well. Perhaps cranberries, red cherries, and raisins.
The body on this beer is surprisingly light for 8% abv. It barely qualifies as medium. I think most pumpkin ales would benefit greatly with a thicker mouthfeel, more in line with an imperial stout. However, this is still better than some I've had. Carbonation is fairly light, but I honestly wouldn't want too much carbonation in a pumpkin ale.

Overall, I would say this is a decent beer. I could see myself enjoying it again. Hopefully I'll find something more outstanding in my quest to try more pumpkin ales.

 1,583 characters

Photo of Marraybay
2.68/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had high hopes going in, but in the end, wasn't very enamoured. Nice glass presentation, in terms of color and head. (mahogany color, beige foam.) Semi-vinous like quality that comes off more like a mulled or spiced wine too me. Something--cardamom--very prominent, but too much so for my liking. Never got the pumpkin. It's a big beer at 8%, so there's always the idea of cellaring, but I don't think that would offer much in terms of transforming this one.

 464 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle date 7/23/15, best before 3/23/16.

Deep orange color. Small creamy head with little retention or lacing. Some legs visible on the glass when swirled. The nose on this one is incredible. Like diving head first into a giant pumpkin pie. Flavor is very heavy on the spice, primarily nutmeg, with some cinnamon as well. Some caramel sweetness from the malt. Thin and a little watery on the palate. Some additional carbonation would probably help with that. Medium bodied. Overall, good aroma and flavor, but the body needs to be beefed up. It would probably be awesome paired with a fresh slice of pumpkin pie.

 621 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BOD 7/28/15. Pours a medium amber with a nice orange/red hue that is slightly hazy. Normal head volume and retention. Poor lacing.

World class nose of rich blended spice (nutmeg and cinnamon with hints of cardamom and clove) over a solid malt base of biscuit with strong caramel notes.

Solid heavy medium body with a semi-creamy texture that is quite smooth. A bit light on the carbonation with almost no effervescence in the middle and a fairly good burst in the finish.

The flavor profile is outstanding and could achieve world class status if the alcohol were completely hidden. Dial this back to around 6 - 7 % ABV, pump up the carbonation and it has a good shot at it. First to arrive is a rich blend of spice over an equally rich malt base. These flavors are there to the finish and slowly separate. Nutmeg and cinnamon take the lead and the middle delivers a solid pumpkin flavor. As the pumpkin arrives, cardamom takes over the spice leadership. Towards the finish, a light touch of phenolic clove appears and the malt base becomes more caramel influenced. Unfortunately, here is also where alcohol removes its mask. While not obscenely offensive, it is noticeable adding an astringency and grain alcohol flavor to this, otherwise, near world class beer. The finish is a slow smooth fade of all flavor components.

 1,337 characters

Photo of PaulyB83
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled 07/10/15

L- Reddish brown, some haziness, light khaki head.

S- Lots of spices, mostly clove and cardamom, a little caramel sweetness.

T- Very spice forward, the cardamom and clove really stick out then some cinnamon and nutmeg. Some caramel sweetness, it's got a bitterness at the end that seems more from the spices than any hops.

F- Medium a bit lighter than most imperial pumpkin beers I've had.

O- Not a big fan of heavily spiced pumpkin beers and this one falls into that category for me.

 558 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Hazy amber pour with finger white head, quickly fades with no lace. Aroma is pleasant with some mild spice and pumpkin bread. Pumpkin beers are not my favorite style but this one is good, not overly sweet. Big bread flavor with spice on the edges. Some sweetness from the alcohol which comes out in the end. Dry finish with some lingering cinnamon.

 363 characters

Photo of HoppyBastard
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, "bottle on" date 7-1-15, "best by" date 3-1-16.

APPEARANCE: pours a cloudy brown color with less than one-finger tan head that dissipated quickly until a ring of small bubbles remained around the rim of glass, lighter carbonation, there is a moderate amount of lacing on the glass.

SMELL: cinnamon, nutmeg and bread.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, cinnamon is most prevalent then nutmeg and bread, there is a pleasant warming at the end, the 8% ABV is perceptible but fairly well disguised and was in no way off-putting to me.

PALATE: medium body, lighter carbonation.

OVERALL: this is a good pumpkin ale, I'm not a huge fan of the style but will enjoy some during the season, I was most impressed by the fact this brewer gives you both the "bottling date" and the "best by" date, Weyerbacher just set the standard for the whole industry, for this reason alone I will be trying more from this brewer in the future.

 984 characters

Photo of MacMalt
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. The color is a hazy orange-brown with a thin milk-white head and lacing. It looks like apple cider. The smell is predominantly yeast, malt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; not much pumpkin. The taste follows the nose with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, bready malt, and pumpkin pulp. This is not a sweet ale; in fact, it finishes with some bitterness. This ale clearly features a more complex, spicy taste than "pumpkin pie." While medium-bodied, it is not overly carbonated and the 8.0 ABV is noticeable. Overall, it's a really good pumpkin ale from one of my favorite brewers. To me, this ale epitomizes late autumn, when the leaves are down and the chill has arrived for good, rather than the sweeter "September" pumpkin ales which are nice warm early autumn day. Enjoy it at a tailgate party or with a nice fire going in the den.

 872 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Imperial Pumpkin Ale from Weyerbacher Brewing Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 2,694 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!